Monday, May 9, 2011

Widener University Granted $1 Million to Assist Adult Learners

Chester, Pa. (May 9, 2011) – Widener University has been awarded a $1 million endowment and a one-time $50,000 bridge grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation through its Reentry Scholarship Program. The endowment will help fund scholarships for adult students who have previously interrupted their educational studies for reasons beyond their control.

This $1 million endowment was preceded by three annual grants of $50,000 each, which in total have funded 41 scholarships for Widener adult students. Since 2007, The Bernard Osher Foundation has enabled Widener’s University College to provide financial assistance to adults who have the desire to complete their degree, removing a major obstacle to degree completion.

The $1 million endowment will continue to support up to 12 students each year who are returning to the collegiate classroom after a break of five or more years. Students are typically funded for one course their first semester, with the ability to renew for two courses during their second semester at Widener. Each year, several students are also able to renew their Osher Reentry Scholarship based on their need and academic standing. In many cases students become eligible for additional scholarships offered to adult students through Widener’s University College.

“This $1 million gift ensures the future of this very important scholarship program at Widener, which aids so many adult students,” said University College Dean Emily Richardson. “Especially at a time when many are facing economic challenges, it’s important for us to continue offering scholarships to help individuals earn their degree and become more competitive in the job market. We are grateful to the Osher Foundation for its continuous support of our students.”

Students selected as Osher Reentry Scholars must anticipate participation in the workforce for a significant period of time subsequent to graduation. They also must demonstrate a financial need and show academic promise and a commitment to obtaining their degree. Scholars may be either full- or part-time students in Widener’s University College. University College is the adult undergraduate college at Widener University, which offers students flexible scheduling with evening, weekend and online courses in their pursuit of associate and bachelor’s degrees.
To apply, or for questions regarding Osher Reentry Scholarships, please contact Nikki Ritterbeck at

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